A dear family friend of ours, who also happens to be my brother’s OT (Occupational Therapist) made this cake. Dimity Duckworth is such an outstanding OT and truly wonderful person that she has long since captured a place in the heart of our family and almost everyone she meets, I am sure! The recipe that she made the cake from calls it bread, but we’re calling it cake. I liked it so much that I simply had to share it with all of you, here. It reminds me of my grandmother’s banana bread, even though peanut butter was never used in her bread (but sometimes there were chocolate chips).
This cake uses quinoa flour, a flour I’ve yet to use in my baking (I have full intentions to, though, since I got that quinoa cookbook!) and she found it a bit heavier than rice flour, which is what she usually uses but it does add a pleasant, complimentary nuttiness to the cake. Because it’s dense it’s a great snack cake and very satisfying – I cut a slice in half, like in the picture above, and it was enough to still satisfy me.
An interesting fact Dimity told me is that peanut butter isn’t popular to bake with in Australia, so, in her words, she’s really into using it. Since she mentioned it, it has struck me that I have not seen the PB in the Donna Hay magazine or her cookbooks that I’ve borrowed from the library. Is baking with peanut butter very (North) American? (I include North because it seems to be used quite a bit in Canadian baking also.)
One of my favourite treats that are sold around Easter time are chocolate covered marshmallows, which are usually shaped in the form of an egg. I wanted to make marshmallow eggs this year but didn’t have time enough, however I know how to go about it now so that I can do it next time. (I detail how to do this later in the post.)
These marshmallows are made with my basic recipe and as soon as the marshmallow has thickened, it sets fairly quickly unlike marshmallows made with refined sugar and corn syrup (there’s a scientific reason, I know, but I won’t get into it here) so it’s important to not overwork it otherwise it sets as it’s being whipped and you won’t be able to mold it; essentially marshmallow fluff. (This, however, I found is easily rectified by simply putting the marshmallow mass into a pot and gently heating it while stirring until it starts to melt. Once there, pour into the pan and allow it to reset.)
To coat the marshmallows in chocolate, you must temper the chocolate. Over the years I have read several texts, including blogs, about tempering chocolate but I only just learned how with the instructions from Roald Dahl’s Even More Revolting Recipes, which, for me, best described how to do it in a straightforward manner. I was well pleased with this accomplishment, especially as this was my very first time to temper chocolate!
Without any eggs or dairy cream at all, you can still make a luscious chocolate pudding. The secret? Marshmallows.
Originally a chocolate mousse, I’m still calling it pudding mainly because the coconut cream did not behave the same way as dairy cream would, so it wasn’t mousse-like in the least but surely not faulted. It gets thicker even more so when it’s refrigerated for an extended period of time, such as overnight, to the point of a consistency that is solid enough to resemble a mousse and that you can dig right into with a spoon.
While the original recipe calls for dark chocolate, I decided to go for semisweet because that’s the kind of chocolate I had on hand and also that I’ve found a few blogs that have stated that the dark chocolate is really for dark chocolate lovers and I wanted this pudding to go all around. Also I found that I could get away with less chocolate than Nigella called for; originally a memory blip on my part and then deciding to go along with my feeling when I double checked the recipe. Despite using a hundred grams less (original recipe calls for 250 grams or 9 ounces) it was still chocolate-y through and through. Rich and deeply satisfying.
The pudding was eaten up, leftovers unheard of; a sure hit.